This is Thread, Tás áyá
The Tlingit language is such an elaborate language.
It was my last year of undergraduate school at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) and I needed a full year of language to fulfill my requirements. I had arranged with the Hoonah City Schools Tlingit language teacher, Daphne K’ashkgé (Duffy) Wright, to take her class along with two high school students. Several days before class started, Daphne had given me a copy of “Beginning Tlingit” by Richard Xwaayeená and Nora Keixwnéi Dauenhauer. The first lesson was repetition drills. I put in the CD. Richard (Dick) and Nora explained the lessons in English and then began: Tás áyá. This is thread. These unfamiliar words with their high and low tones combined with hard sounds, formed sound waves that traveled into my auditory canal. The waves struck my eardrum, vibrating my ear bones, sending vibrations to my inner ear, creating electrical impulses that moved in split seconds along a nerve into my brain. It was like magic. There, my brain absorbed the beautiful strangeness of this new language. Tás áyá. This is thread. And then I cried.
|Daphne Wright, Amy Wright, Andrea Skaflestad, Vivian Prescott|